Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Insurance Companies Have A Lot Of Gall

As Congress continues to flip-flop like a beached mackerel over the public insurance option and health care reform, I received notice today of my new health insurance rates for 2010. The increase was enough to give me heart failure, but I stopped and pulled myself together when I realized I really couldn’t afford to get sick right now. Taking deep, calming breaths and trying to think happy thoughts, I did the math just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. I can’t afford mental health care, either.

Yep, I was right. The increase in my premiums for next year is a smooth 18%. Thank goodness I didn’t have any serious illness this year…can you imagine how much my rates would have gone up if I’d had any claims? At least I can get insurance, unlike a whole bunch of other Americans who can’t afford it or are too sick to get coverage.

Maybe my insurance company is struggling, I thought. Maybe they are on the brink of collapse, a disaster that would be precipitated by competition from the public insurance option they so vehemently oppose. They are publicly traded, so that information is pretty easy to find. Next step: the financials.

How about that? 2009 quarterly revenues for the first nine months are substantially ahead (+7.6%) of the same period last year, which was up from 2007, which was up from 2006, which jumped substantially over 2005 (due to an acquisition), which was up from…..you get the picture. Earnings per share aren’t bad either, increasing 35% for the first nine months of this year from the same period in 2008. Guess their health isn’t so bad.

While the insurance companies continue to block the public option and Congress continues to cater to them, though, my heath is deteriorating fast. Deep breaths...deep breaths...deep breaths.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

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